Healthcare in the Shadows

Have you ever wondered how people without health insurance (or those with insurance that does not afford them full access to routine or specialty care) find help when they need it?  How does an uninsured woman obtain a mammogram, for instance?  Where does an uninsured woman with an abnormal Pap test turn for follow up diagnostic procedures? What happens when the part time waitress has sore throat and high fever? Where does she turn for care?  How does the lawn service owner find a tetanus shot for the seasonal worker who cut himself trimming bushes?

Many of us with employer based health insurance don’t have to think about these things–we simply schedule an appointment with our clinical provider, pay the co-pay, and move on through our day.  The uninsured, and there are still millions of uninsured people across the country, and the “under insured”, those whose insurance is seen as less than desirable due to the low payment for services rendered, are challenged every day to find health resources when they need them.  In many locales, advanced practice nurses are filling gaps in healthcare access and their services are often provided in the shadow of the larger healthcare system that most of us are familiar with.  From April to November 2015, I will visit and blog about these nurse led care venues, hoping to bring their work out of the shadows and into the light.

Follow these stories by clicking on the How Nurses Fill Gaps in Healthcare tab.